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Political satire: Why laughter is the best medicine

Grace Stoler, Reporter

At first glance, it may seem like 2020 has had nothing to offer humanity but various forms of doom and gloom. Fortunately however, it has given comedic writers and satirists many opportunities to work with.

While laughter and lighthearted entertainment are now more important than ever, and making fun of the globe’s misfortune almost seems like an impossible job, political satire has given the American public an outlet to educate themselves on what’s going on in the world, and more importantly, make them laugh.

Modern day political satire has evolved and expanded through different platforms –  TV shows like “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” critique different government and political figures through wit and humor. Satirical news organizations like The Onion and McSweeney’s poke fun at national and global events.

The show “Parks and Recreation” is entirely fictitious, but depicts somewhat realistic government employees and political situations. The point of political satire is to not only entertain the audience with surface level exaggerations, but to educate and inform them of various important issues.

Courtesy of IMDb.

A recent example of a work of satire is “Borat 2”, which was released the same week as the final presidential debate. The film has once again gotten America up in arms, going above and beyond in exposing a darker side to American culture and proving that we may not be as progressive as we’d like to believe.

Like the first “Borat” movie, Sacha Baron Cohen portrays the same sexist, racist, and anti-semetic caricature that was notorious for pushing people’s buttons. What makes the film a great piece of political satire is not just its mocking of the American public, but how it finds a way to be optimistic that things will one day change.

Courtesy of IMDb.

While the movie is raunchy, and even hard to watch at times, it is something that the nation really needs right now. Between the federal government’s mishandling of the pandemic, millions out of work and school, wildfires, riots, and the presidential election less than a week away, laughter is the one thing we have left to keep us sane. 

Featured image by Aj Alao via Unsplash.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Political satire: Why laughter is the best medicine